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Research Interests

Economic Theory, Networks.


Sanjeev Goyal is the Arthur Pigou Professor of Economics and Fellow of Christ’s College, Cambridge. He is s best known for his pioneering research on networks.

Sanjeev’s research in the 1990's laid the foundations for an economic approach to the study of networks by providing a framework for the study of the effects of social structure on human behaviour and by developing a model of how the costs and benefits of linking shape the formation of networks. In subsequent work, he has explored ways in which individuals, firms, and governments can use networks to better attain their objectives.

Using a combination of theoretical models, laboratory experiments and observational data his research helps us better understand the origins of unequal and small world networks; the persistence of diverse opinions and incorrect beliefs; optimal targeting of taxes/subsidies when firms have market power; the defence and design of networks that face threats; the relation between communities, state and markets; the social structure origins of trust; and collaboration and competition among firms and among researchers.

Sanjeev has lectured widely and enjoys writing. His first book, "Connections: an introduction to the economics of networks" was published in 2007 by Princeton University Press. A second book Networks: An Economics Approach was published by MIT Press in April 2023.

His research has appeared in leading journals such as Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, Review of Economic Studies, American Economic Review, Comparative Political Studies, Symposium on Theory of Computing (STOC), PNAS, and Management Science.

He has mentored over thirty Ph.D. students and post-doctoral fellows, many of whom have gone on to become world leaders in research, senior managers in international and national organizations, and partners in top consultancy organizations.

Sanjeev Goyal is a Fellow of the British Academy, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Council Member of the Game Theory Society. He was the Founding Director of the Cambridge-INET Institute 2012-2014, and Chair of the Economics Faculty at Cambridge 2014-2018.

He enjoys jogging, cinema and reading, and the taste of good tea.

Selected Publications

New Book:

Networks: An Economics Approach. MIT Press (2023).
MIT Press Announcement

Published Papers

Choi, S., Goyal, S. and Moisan, F. Brokerage Rents and Intermediation Networks, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2023), vol 120, no. 28
Ductor, L., Goyal, S. and Prummer, A. Gender and Collaboration, Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 105(6) (2023) (2023), vol 105
Choi, S., Goyal, S., Moisan, F. and To, Y. Y. T. Learning in Networks: An Experiment on Large Networks with Real-World Features, Management Science (2023)
Dziubinski, M., Goyal, S. and Minarsch, D. E. N. The Strategy of Conquest, Journal of Economic Theory (2021), vol 191, no. 105161
Galeotti, A., Golub, B. and Goyal, S. Targeting Interventions in Networks, Econometrica (2020), vol 88, no. 6, pp. 2445–2471
Elliott, M., Goyal, S. and Teytelboym, A. Networks and Economic Policy, Oxford Review of Economic Policy (2019), vol 35(4), pp. 565–585
Gagnon, J. and Goyal, S. Networks, Markets and Inequality, American Economic Review (2017), vol 107(1), pp. 1-30

Working Papers

Galeotti, A., Golub, B., Goyal, S., Talamas, E. and Tamuz, O., Taxes and Market Power: A Principal Components Approach (2022).
Galeotti, A., Golub, B., Goyal, S. and Rao, R., Discord and Harmony in Networks (2021).

Cambridge Working Papers in Economics

Choi, S., Goyal, S., Guo, F., Moisan, F. Experimental Evidence on Group Size Effects in Network Formation Games, (2024) CWPE2417
Bramoulle, Y., Goyal, S., Morelli, M. Social Structure, State, and Economic Activity, (2024) CWPE2416
Dziubiński, M., Goyal, S., Zhou, J. Interconnected Conflict, (2024) CWPE2408
Choi, S., Goyal, S., Guo, F., Moisan, F. Experimental Evidence on the Relation Between Network Centrality and Individual Choice, (2024) CWPE2401

Recent Activities

Visiting Professor NYUAD 2021-2022

Wesley Clair Mitchell Visiting Professor at Columbia University, Spring 2020.

Goh Keng Swee Visiting Chair, National University of Singapore. 2019.

Ganshof van der Meersch lecture, Institute for European Studies. 2018. [video link]

Distinguished Lecture, MIT Institute for Data, Systems, and Society. 2018. [video link]

Paul Kleindorfer Lecture, Society of Economic Design, York. 2017.

Public Lecture, Oxford Mathematical Institute. 2017. [video link]

Research Grants

Bridging The Gap From Individual Behaviour To The Socio-Technical Man (IBSEN) (Horizon 2020, Future & Emerging Technologies (FET))
Complexity-Net: Resilience And Interaction Of Networks In Ecology And Economics (Resinee) (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC))
Research Seminars: Seminars On Networks (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC))
Influencing The Influencers: A Theory Of Strategic Diffusion (Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC))

The Janeway Institute for Economics

Coordinator for Networks, Crowds and Markets Research Theme

Keynes Fund Sponsored Projects

Goyal, S., Experiments on Financial Networks (JHLB)
Goyal, S., Experiments on 'Networked Markets' (JHLR)
Goyal, S., Efficiency and Inequality in a Network Economy (JHOS)
Goyal, S., Social Learning and Fake News (JHUM)
Goyal, S., Choi, S. and Moisan, F., Games on Networks: An Experimental Study (JHVK)
Goyal, S., Economics of Networks (JHVZ)


Part IIB Paper 4 - Economic Theory and Analysis - Networks
MPhil S150 - Economics of Networks

PhD Students


Fulin Guo
PhD Title:
Research: Networks, Behavioural and Experimental Economics, AI/ML in Economics
Yiyi Li
PhD Title:
Research: Economics of Networks, Social Comparison and Social Status, and Behavioural Economics
Ruohan Qin
PhD Title:
Research: Networks, Game Theory, and Economics of Conflict


Felix Mylius
PhD Title:
Research: Search; Matching; Networked Markets
Sarah Rose Taylor
PhD Title:
Research: Primary: Microeconomic Theory
Secondary: Network Theory, Political Economics, and Industrial Organisation

Professor Sanjeev Goyal

Arthur C. Pigou Professor of Economics

On Leave 2023-2024

Research Group:
Microeconomic Theory

CV: Curriculum Vitae

Contact Details
Room: 47
College: Fellow of Christ's College